Summary: R&D NOTES
Control of Ethylene Glycol Reactive Distillation Column
Muhammad A. Al-Arfaj and William L. Luyben
Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Z .Kumar and Daoutidis 1999 studied the control of an eth-
ylene glycol reactive distillation column and concluded that
an advanced nonlinear inverse-based controller is needed.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that a simple
Z .single-temperature proportional integral PI structure pro-
vides effective control.
Only a handful of articles have explored the control of re-
active distillation columns. A review of recent literature is
Z .given by Al-Arfaj and Luyben 2000 . We have studied a
Znumber of reactive distillation columns Al-Arfaj and Luy-
.ben, 2002a,b,c and have found that effective control is pro-
vided by simple PI control schemes if appropriate manage-
ment of feedstreams and product purities is provided.
The chemistry in the ethylene glycol process is the irre-
versible reaction of ethylene oxide with water to form ethy-
lene glycol. There is a second consecutive reaction in which